McDonalds’ Monopoly to return; what is it, when will it take place and why are so many people overjoyed by it?

The popular McDonalds Monopoly returns this autumn. But what is the big deal and the big prizes?

It’s become as popular as the board game itself and the news today that McDonalds Monopoly is returning for 2023 has customers excited to once again enter the golden arches and hedge their bets.

Even if there is an uproar that the fast food giant has increased the price of it’s cheeseburgers.

If you’re anything like myself, curious as to why McDonalds Monopoly is so popular, I’ll try and get to the bottom of it.

What is McDonalds Monopoly?

Selected items come with either two or three Monopoly pieces to win either an instant prize or collect to win larger items.

McDonalds Monopoly is an in-store promotion where selected items on the menu come with Monopoly style game pieces, usually two or three pieces.

The pieces can be used to win prizes in three different ways: an Instant Win, a Collect to Win and an Online Game.

  • Instant Win is exactly what it sounds like; you can trade your game piece for an item on the menu. We hope the more costlier cheeseburger is one of those items now we’re fishing for a 20p piece.
  • Collect to Win involves collecting a colour set of game pieces in order to earn a bigger prize, not on the menu.
  • Online Game sees the game piece redeemed via an online code through the McDonalds website or app for a chance to be entered into a prize draw.

There are also some very rare McDonalds Monopoly pieces that can lead to even bigger rewards.

Prime real estate in this year’s McDonalds Monopoly:

  • Dark blue: Mayfair
  • Green: Bond Street
  • Red: Strand
  • Yellow: Coventry Street
  • Train stations: Liverpool St Station
  • Orange: Marlborough Street
  • Pink: Northumberland Avenue
  • Light blue: Euston Road
  • Brown: Old Kent Road

What can I win if I play McDonalds Monopoly?

McDonalds super-fans Laura Paton and Emma Kendrick pose with Mr. Monopoly as they relax in McDonalds Monopoly Hotel, Australia.

Asides from items from the food menu, McDonalds promise the chance for entrants to win holidays, electronic goods, vouchers or the illustrious McDonalds Gold Card - promising a McDonalds meal free each week for an entire year.

The big prize, much like the board game, hinges on collecting pieces from either Mayfair and Park Lane. There are four cash prizes of £100,000 to be won for the lucky contestant picking up the McDonalds Monopoly prime real estate.

When will McDonalds Monopoly arrive at Bristol restaurants?

There has been no official date for the return of McDonalds Monopoly other than August 2022 and runs for around six weeks.

In 2021, the promotion started on August 25 and finished October 5, so we are assuming the dates may be similar.

When did McDonalds Monopoly begin?

McDonalds Monopoly began in 1987 in the USA, offering sweepstakes to entice people into their restaurants. That same year, the promotion extended to Canada, Australia, Austria, France, Germany, Hong Kong, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, and the United Kingdom.

It’s not been without its detractors or controversy though.

In 2001, the promotion was stopped in the United States for fraud after a subcontractor which had been hired by McDonald’s to organise and promote the game, failed to recognize a flaw in its procedures.

Chief of security Jerome P. Jacobson was able to remove the most valuable game pieces, and sold winning pieces for a percentage of the winnings in advance to friends and family but expanding nationwide after a chance meeting in the Atlanta airport between him and Gennaro "Jerry" Colombo of the Colombo crime family.

The controversy was the subject of a 2020 HBO miniseries, McMillions.

Even here in the UK,  Deputy Leader of the UK Labour Party, Tom Watson, said that the Monopoly promotion was a "danger to public health" and urged McDonald’s to drop the "grotesque marketing strategy" in 2019.

One of the many McDonald’s in the Bristol area where McDonalds Monopoly will return in the autumn 2022.

I’m sold. Where can I play McDonalds Monopoly?

You can check out the variety of McDonalds restaurants around the Bristol region by visiting the store locator on the McDonalds website.